Always a cosy refuge, but particularly in bad weather, this family-run, 17th-century coaching inn stands on the edge of the Peak District National Park, just north of the market town of Ashbourne. Besides the beautiful location, its charms include stripped wooden furniture, low beams, log-burning fires and an immediately friendly atmosphere. Real ales, mostly from local breweries, could include Dancing Duck, Derby, Peak, Whim and Wincle, or choose one of the excellent house wines. A typical menu includes chicken breast stuffed with chorizo farce wrapped in bacon with leek and Stilton sauce; mixed vegetable tagine and couscous; or poached fillet of hake with mash and prawn, samphire and white wine sauce. For children, there's spaghetti bolognese; and chicken korma with rice and naan. Among the local attractions is Carsington Water for fun activities.
Closed: 25 December, 26 December evening
Open all week
Open all day
Opening times: 11–11 (Sunday 12–10.30)
Lunch: all week 12–9
Dinner: all week 12–9
Food and drink
Real ales available: Marston's Pedigree, Oakham JHB, Peak Swift Nick, Whim Hartington Bitter, Derby
Credit cards accepted
Coach parties welcome, notice required
Family room available
On A515 (Ashbourne to Buxton road), 2.5 miles from Ashbourne.